Weekly Warm-Up: A Quick Valentine & a Free Download

02/08/2010 at 11:01 am | Posted in Holidays, technique, weekly warm up | 6 Comments
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With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, love is definitely in the air this week. Why limit your Cupid creativity to one special someone when it’s easy to spread a little sweetheart-joy to the masses? This project idea is quick to create and requires only a few scraps and a bag of chocolates to complete. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Prepare your scraps.

Use a heart punch, stencil, or die cut to cut hearts from scraps of patterned paper. Fold 6″ x 3″ scraps of cardstock in half to create card bases, and cut scraps of ribbon to go across the front of the cards.

Step 2: Add ribbon.

Adhere assorted ribbon strips to the center of your card front.

Step 3: Add the heart.

Adhere the heart to the card. Note: A little bling addition is optional.

Step 4: Put a surprise inside.

Adhere a small chocolate bar to the inside of the card to complete your treat.

Giving Ideas
Share your little chocolate delights in any of the following ways:

  • Put them in your neighbors’ mailboxes.
  • Send them to school with your kids.
  • Give them to co-workers at the office.
  • Share them with your church companions this week.
  • Hand them out to people you come in contact with this week—clerks, letter carriers, newspaper deliverers, and more.

There’s nothing like a little random act of kindness to make you and your recipient feel great!

Free Download
For an even faster love-note option, download our free Valentine’s Day design on our website. With it, you can either print and create heartfelt greetings, or you can prepare an e-sentiment to send and share with those you love across the World Wide Web.

Happy Valentine’s Day Week!
Megan Hoeppner, creative editor


Weekly Warm-Up: Quick Holiday Cards

12/14/2009 at 4:00 am | Posted in Holidays, weekly warm up | 4 Comments
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Have you mailed your holiday cards yet? Or let’s take another step back and ask if you’ve made your cards yet? Either way, please don’t panic. The month is young, and there’s still time create an annual greeting you can be proud of. Whether you send to a long list of people and need to take the mass-produced, digital route or you’re only making greetings for a close circle of friends, we have  ideas to get you started.

Let’s start with an easy-to-make digi design. This card was created by our talented Dream Team member Deena Wuest. What’s great about digi designs is that you only have to put a card together once, and then it’s just a matter of printing as many copies as you need.

"Merry and Bright" card by Deena Wuest, as seen in the December 2009 issue of Creating Keepsakes

To find complete instructions for making this card, visit our website.

If you feel like taking a more traditional route, check out the easy card I made for my editor’s note in the December 2009 issue of Creating Keepsakes. The card came together in a snap. Using that card as my inspiration, I wanted to see where I could shave off a few steps to save you even more time. And guess what! The card variation below came together in 10 minutes. You’ll only need a few accents, a tool or two, and a little cardstock.

"Merry" card by Megan Hoeppner. Supplies: Cardstock and die: Stampin’ Up!; Patterned paper and letter stickers: American Crafts; Button, brad, felt snowflake and gem: Little Yellow Bicycle; Snowflake punch: EK Success; Adhesive: Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L; Other: Twine.

Time-Saving Tip
We often talk about little tricks for stepping up a design, but some instances call for stepping down a design’s complexity. The next time you’re in a crunch, whether it’s with cards or layouts, look at the amazing projects you’ve already made, and see where you can shave off time and still create a wonderful design!

My biggest time-saving trick for this project is to skip the stitching. The background die I used came with a faux stitch around the border, so I felt like the card was finished enough without stitching my accents to the center of the card, as I did in my original design.

Your Ideas

We’re always looking for time-saving tips to feature in Creating Keepsakes magazine and on our blog. What are your favorite card-making shortcuts? Let us know in the comments section of this post, or e-mail Editorial@CreatingKeepsakes.com with “time-saving tricks” in the subject line.

In the spirit of holiday greetings, from my computer to yours I wish you a very merry holiday season!

Megan Hoeppner, creative editor

Let Holiday Cards Speak on Your Layouts

12/08/2009 at 4:00 am | Posted in Holidays | 2 Comments
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At this time of year, folks who don’t consider themselves crafters come out of their shells. Before you know it, you have an array of holiday cards and letters arriving from them in your mailbox. I remember how during the holidays when I was young, my mom would string together the greeting cards we received and hang them on the walls. The cards were so beautiful that we didn’t need much more decoration than them and our tiny tinsel tree.

Cards today, like modern holiday decor, are as beautiful as ever. Don’t let their artistry and the memories they bring end with the season. Add charm and life to your scrapbooks by including holiday cards on your layouts. Here are a few ideas from the December 2009 issue of Creating Keepsakes.

“Christmas of ‘08” by Becky Higgins, as seen in the December 2009 issue of Creating Keepsakes (page 46)

Include an actual copy of your family’s holiday card on your layout, as Becky Higgins did.

"Merry Christmas" by Brittany Beattie, as seen in the December 2009 issue of Creating Keepsakes (page 66)

Use a small tag meant for packages as a page embellishment. This cute skiing-penguin scene would be a great addition to a story on a snow-themed Christmas layout. You can add an embellishment or two to the tag to give it more dimension, like Brittany Beattie did.

"Wishing You Peace" by Jennifer McGuire, as seen in the December 2009 issue of Creating Keepsakes (page 110)

If you don’t have room to include an entire card on your page, use only a particular accent, such as the pretty felt flower from this card by Jennifer McGuire.

"Uncontainable Joy" card by Deena Wuest, as seen in the December 2009 issue of Creating Keepsakes (page 81)

Use the photo from your holiday card as one of your main pictures on a layout. The oh-so-adorable child from this card by Deena Wuest would make any page stand out, with or without the text printed on the photo.

Whatever your card preference, be it homemade or store bought, take a break and let your cards do the talking for you on your pages this season.

—Dorathy Gilchrist, associate editor

Weekly Warm-Up: Contain Your Holiday Cards

11/30/2009 at 4:00 am | Posted in weekly warm up | 10 Comments
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It’s December Eve, which means our mailboxes are about to get a lot more exciting—with holiday greetings breaking up the usual junk mail and bill monotony. Hooray! I adore opening my box to find photos, handwritten notes and beautiful cards waiting for me. Throughout the month, I hang these happy hellos in my home. (See my blog for a few creative card-display ideas.) It’s when January rolls around that I reach a dilemma—do I keep the cards or recycle them? And if I keep them, do I simply store them in a boring cardboard box where they’ll likely never be seen again?

I’m happy to say that Jennifer Carreiro, a Creating Keepsakes reader, has found the answer to my quandary. Check out her stunning card keepsake book!

2008 Christmas Cards by Jennifer Carreiro. Supplies Patterned paper: My Mind’s Eye and The Paper Company; Ink: Clearsnap; Chipboard: K&Company; Ribbon: C.M. Offray & Son; Brads and metal tag: Making Memories; Jump ring: 7gypsies; Colored pencil: Newell Rubbermaid; Adhesive: Glue Dots International and Pioneer Photo Album; Other: Cardstock and star charm.

Jennifer created this album with just a few supplies, and she now has a beautiful way to preserve all her cards, photos and letters. Make your own keepsake book this year in just a few simple steps. Here’s how:

1. Gather all the cards you want to save. Don’t feel like you have to save them all. I’m sure your insurance company will understand if their greeting card ends up in your recycle bin.

2. Cut your book covers from chipboard using your largest greeting card as your template. You’ll want your covers slightly larger than your largest greeting card.

3. Dress up the cutout covers with patterned paper and embellishments. If you choose to make a new book each year, you can add the year to your cover with letter stickers, stamps, rub-ons or chipboard. Attach a pretty ribbon to the back cover so you can wrap it around the front of your book and keep it shut after your greetings are inserted.

4. To insert your greeting cards, punch a hole in the corner of each one as well as in the corners of the chipboard covers, then punch holes in your covers and group them all together with binder rings.

Isn’t this an easy and awesome idea? Thanks so much for sharing it, Jennifer.

Here’s a variation created by Elizabeth Kartchner. She’s not only grouped her holiday greetings together but also her family photo and other Christmas memorabilia from the same year.

Holiday Album by Elizabeth Kartchner. Supplies Art journal, patterned paper, felt, binder rings, ribbon, button, paper flower, rub-ons, tag, stamps, ink and clip: Evalicious (from a kit); Adhesive: Pioneer Photo Albums; Other: Thread and pen. As seen in the December 2009 issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine.

With this idea, you can enjoy those heartfelt sentiments year after year and avoid the agonizing do-I-keep-or-don’t-I scenario. The answer is now a resounding keep!

Do you have ideas for containing your holiday cards, letters and photos after the season is through? Or perhaps you recycle those greetings and do something delightful with the pieces? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments section of this post.

Happy soon-to-be December!
—Megan Hoeppner, Creative Editor

Guest Blogger: Maren Benedict (and Free Font Friday!)

10/02/2009 at 3:23 am | Posted in Get-to-Know | 11 Comments
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IMG_4367Happy early World Card Making Day!!  Hi! I’m Maren Benedict, one of Paper Crafts magazine’s Go-to Gals. I am super excited to be guest blogging here today and sharing my love of card making. Tomorrow marks the 4th annual World Card Making Day. Lots of fabulous events are going on all over the world to celebrate. Whether you are taking a class at your local scrapbooking store or getting together with some crafty friends, it’s time to make some cards!   

One of the reasons that I LOVE making cards is I get to play with ribbon. Actually, I have a hard time NOT adding ribbon to cards I make. Ribbon makes me happy and brings a little femininity into my testosterone-filled home. Sometimes it’s just a quick little bow:


Birthday Wishes by Maren Benedict. Supplies Cardstock and ribbon: Papertrey Ink; Patterned paper: Sassafras; Number stickers: American Crafts; Rhinestones: me & my BIG ideas; Ink: Ranger Industries; Stamp: Unity Stamp Company.

Other times I find a fabulous ribbon that needs to be seen!  Silver wood grain . . .YUM! 

Celebrate_the_SeasonCelebrate the Season by Maren  Benedict. Supplies Cardstock: Papertrey Ink; Patterned paper: SEI; Chipboard: Maya Road; Glitter glue and ink: Ranger Industries; Stamp: Unity Stamp Company; Ribbon: Martha Stewart Crafts, EK Success.

Often the ribbon just ties all the elements together:


Hi by Maren Benedict. Supplies Cardstock and ribbon: Papertrey Ink; Patterned paper: American Crafts; Die-cutting machine: Cuttlebug, Provo Craft; Dies: Nestabilities, Spellbinders; Letter stickers: American Crafts.

There are times when I want a more subtle look, so I add just a little ruffled ribbon blending into the bottom or a small ribbon tag hanging off the edge of the card.


Thank You by Maren Benedict. Supplies Cardstock: Papertrey Ink; Patterned paper and die-cut: Cosmo Cricket; Button: BasicGrey; Ink: Stampin’ Up!; Stamp: Unity Stamp Company; Embroidery floss: Canvas Corp; Ribbon: May Arts and Papertrey Ink .

Although I’m a ribbon addict and not in short supply, there are times when I can’t find exactly what I’m looking for to complete my card.  That’s when I customize my ribbon like I did for this card: 


Love by Maren Benedict. Supplies Cardstock: Papertrey Ink; Patterned paper: American Crafts and October Afternoon; Acrylic heart: Heidi Swapp for Advantus; Transparency: Hambly Screen Prints; Word sticker: Anna Griffin; Ink: Ranger Industries; Stamp: Unity Stamp Company; Markers: Copic; Ribbon: May Arts.

1. To customize ribbon, all you need is a dye ink, a stamp, some ribbon and a marker.


2. Ink up your stamp and stamp directly on the ribbon. You will want to be sure to add enough pressure to get into the ridges.

Stamping Ribbon

3. Use the tip of a marker to run along the edge of the ribbon. Running an inky finger along the edge works, too!


4. There you go! Super easy. Now attach it to your project, and you’re done.


I hope I’ve inspired you to pull out some ribbon or make some cards. Planning to make a Birthday, Christmas, Hello, Thank You or Love card?  Why not send it off to the special WCMD card contest!  Enjoy your World Card Making Day, friends! Happy crafting!







P.S. It’s FREE FONT FRIDAY, peeps! By special request, our featured font this week is CK Ali’s Handwriting, featuring Ali Edwards’ penmanship. FFFLOGO1_web-ready_5085




Download it here.

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